Zimbabwe Politics and Law


According to the constitution, which came into force on May 22, 2013, Zimbabwe is a democratic, sovereign republic with a presidential system. The head of state, head of government and commander-in-chief of the armed forces is the president, who is directly elected for a period of 5 years (re-election possible once). He is supported by two vice-presidents who are also directly elected for a five-year term. The President appoints the ministers. The vice-presidents and the ministers form the executive branch under the direction of the president. The legislative power lies with the bicameral parliament (legislative period 5 years), consisting of a national assembly (210 members, plus 60 female members in the first two national assemblies elected after the new constitution comes into force) and a senate (80 members).

National symbols

The national flag was hoisted for the first time on April 18, 1980. It is based on the ZANU party flag and shows the African colors red, yellow and green in mirror symmetry, starting from a horizontal black stripe in the center outwards. The golden »Zimbabwe bird« rests on a red star in a black-edged, white triangle on the leech.

The coat of arms was also introduced in 1980. In the green shield there is a representation of the ruins of Zimbabwe, the blue-silver wave cut in the head of the shield is a symbol for the vital water. A golden-green bead rests on the shield. The upper coat of arms shows a golden soapstone sculpture in front of a red, five-pointed star, which represents the “Zimbabwe bird” sitting on a piece of wall. A hoe and a rifle cross behind the shield. Shield holders are two kudu. Like the sign, they stand on a natural-colored piece of land, the bottom of which is formed by a tape with the motto “Unity, Freedom, Work”.

Zimbabwe: coat of arms

The coat of arms of Zimbabwe shows the ruins of Zimbabwe, a wave cut and the golden “Zimbabwe bird”. Shield holders are two kudu.

The national holiday on April 18 commemorates the gaining of independence in 1980.


According to campingship, Zimbabwe is divided into eight provinces and two cities (Harare and Bulawayo) with provincial status.


At the lowest level of the court system are the primary courts and the community courts. You are responsible for cases with a low value in dispute to be decided under customary law. The community courts are courts of first instance, but they also decide on appeals against the decisions of the first courts. The decisions of a community court can be appealed to a magistrates’ court. The higher courts are the high court and the supreme court. The high court has, inter alia. the power to review the proceedings and decisions of all subordinate courts. The Supreme Court is v. a. responsible for appeals against the judgments of the High Court.

The substantive law is based on a mixture of Roman law with Dutch characteristics and English common law ; customary law also plays a role. In 2001 internal security and press laws were passed, greatly expanding the government’s scope for action. Foreign observers report human rights violations against members of the opposition and politically motivated interference with the independence of the judiciary by the government.


The most important parties are the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF, founded in 1963; merged in 1987 with the Zimbabwe African People’s Union [ZAPU, founded in 1961]) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC, founded in 1999; split from 2006, the politically more important camp was also called MDC-T after the party leader M. Tsvangirai, from 2018 MDC Alliance).


Since 1981, all trade unions have been united in the umbrella organization Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU; comprises more than 30 individual organizations).


There is general compulsory schooling from the age of 5 to 12. The school system is based on the British model, it is divided into a seven-year primary level (including two pre-school years) and a six-year secondary level with the completion of the university entrance qualification. The languages ​​of instruction are English, Shona, Ndebele. Zimbabwe has seven public universities (including Harare, founded in 1955, and Bulawayo, founded in 1990) and five private universities as well as several colleges.


The state directs and controls the media landscape. Criticism of the government is not welcome, but has been tolerated in moderation since 2013. The most popular mass medium is radio.

Press: The state-run Mass Media Trust (ZMMT) is the owner of the Zimbabwe Newspaper Group (Zimpapers), to which the daily newspapers “The Herald” (Harare), “Chronicle” (Bulawayo), “Manica Post” (Mutare) and the Sunday newspaper ” Sunday Mail «heard. “Daily News”, the daily newspaper with the highest sales, and “NewsDay” as well as the weekly newspapers “The Standard” and “Zimbabwe Independent” are independent. »The Zimbabwean« from South Africa is influential (only online).

Broadcasting: The state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp. (ZBC) broadcasts radio programs in English and other national languages ​​as well as the only television program approved in Zimbabwe (»ZTV«). Since 2012 there have been two more government-related private radio stations (»Star FM«, »ZiFM«). With a few exceptions, foreign broadcasters are not permitted to broadcast. “1st TV” has been broadcasting from South Africa since 2013.


The total strength of the armed forces is around 29,000 men (air force around 4,000 soldiers), the paramilitary forces around 19,500 men (mainly police forces). The army comprises seven brigades with over 20 infantry battalions as well as a tank, engineer, artillery and anti-aircraft regiment.

Zimbabwe Politics and Law

You may also like...